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Military Lands in the Glen of Imaal are the Irish Defence Force’s (DF) largest live fire range area and have been in continuous use for over a century. The training area is currently used to prepare DF personnel train to carry out their duties at home and overseas. Under Section 274 of the Defence Acts 1954, access to the Glen of Imaal is strictly controlled to ensure the safety of civilians and DF personnel. The DF facilitates hillwalker access along designated walking routes when no military training is being conducted. Military activity is advertised locally with the Glen of Imaal’s Range Warning System.
WALKING AREA CLOSURES – GLEN OF IMAAL
Risk of Unexploded Ordnance
The Military lands in the Glen of Imaal are outlined on OSI maps with a broken red line. Within this area the DF has a designated Impact Area which poses a risk ALL persons due to the presence of Unexploded Ordnance. Most shells and projectiles explode on impact, however a small number do not detonate and can rest on the ground, become buried or lie partially obscured by rocks or vegetation. Any shell or projectile is liable to be dangerous if touched or disturbed. Persons near an exploding shell are likely to be severely injured or killed. In order to mitigate this risk hillwalkers are asked to use the designated walking routes only called ‘Route 1’ and ‘Route 2’.
Designated Walking Routes
During times when NO live firing is taking place recreational hillwalkers and trail runners are permitted to cross military lands along the two (2) designated walking routes to the NORTHERN and SOUTHERN edges of the Range area.
Route 1: This is the NORTHERN route and takes walkers from Knickeen/Ogham stone Junction (GR S 9824 9484), NORTH EAST through Stranahealy Forest, towards the footbridge over Oiltiagh Brook (GR S 9998 9655) up to Knockamunion and on to Table Mountain which leads over into Glenmalure or SOUTH along the range boundary toward Lugnaquilla.
Route 2: This is the SOUTHERN route and follows a route EAST-SOUTH-EAST from Fenton’s Pub (GR S 9726 9350) up Camara Hill towards Lugnaquilla passing between the North Prison and South Prison.
When live firing is taking place a red flag or flashing light, and sentries are placed at a number of locations in the Glen or Imaal. Red flags or flashing lights are also placed at a number of locations surrounding the Glen including; Glenmalure, Aughavanagh, Rathgorragh and Ballinabarney/Ballinfoyle. UNAUTHORISED ACCESS TO MILITARY LANDS IS NOT PERMITTED WHEN THE RED FLAG IS FLYING OR WHEN THE FLASHING LIGHT IS SIGNALLING.
Walkers or trail runners are asked to heed the following guidance:
Be guided by warning notices and signs. Do NOT enter Route 1 or 2 when a red flag is flying or a flashing light is displayed.
Always stay on the designated routes for your own safety.
Immediately report the exact location of any shells or projectiles that you come across so they can be rendered safe.
Report any illegal activity including; rubbish dumping, the use of wheeled transport, or suspected poaching to the Army Information Staff.
Walkers or trail runners using these walking Routes do so at their own risk and should be prepared for adverse weather and navigation conditions.
For any queries please contact the Army information Centre, Glen of Imaal which is staffed 24/7;
Conservation and Sustainability:
Management of the Glen of Imaal is conducted with sustainability and conservation in mind so that military training can be conducted in this area into the future, while maintaining the areas biodiversity and natural heritage. We are guided by European Habitat Directives and National Legislation and a full time staff are dedicated to managing the Range areas in conjunction with national and local conservation bodies. Sheep grazing is managed by Department of Defence herd management staff. Deer management activities are carried out by authorised licensed personnel who are the only persons legally permitted to carry civilian registered arms on military lands. During deer management activity notification signs are placed in areas where mandated hunters are active. The unauthorised use of wheeled or motorised vehicles is not permitted on military lands in order to protect the Wicklow Upland area’s biodiversity. Any suspected illegal activity or poaching on Military Lands should be reported immediately to the Army Information Centre.